So-called “pawternity” leave is the proverbial cat’s pajamas when it comes to employees and their pets.
The latest trend in employee benefits provides paid time off to bond with a new four-legged member of the family, or the death of a beloved pet.
“This is a wonderful idea,” said Dr. Bonnie Bergin, founder of Bergin University of Canine Studies in Rohnert Park.
The university gives employees two days paid leave when a pet dies, one less than paid leave when a human member of the family dies, said Bergin, who recently lost her own dog.
“We plan to up that amount. It can be an incredible grief,” she said.
The university does not yet provide paid leave for a new puppy, but Bergin said the idea is worth merit.
“I’m kind of embarrassed we’re not leading the charge. There is no question about the importance of that relationship,” she said.
More companies are starting to get the importance of the dog-human bond and are allowing employees to bring their dogs into the workplace.
It’s a perk that can recruit and retain employees.